Pelicans news: The deadline to re-sign players on rookie contracts to extensions has passed and one of the most notable players who didn’t get a deal done with his team is Brandon Ingram.
The former second-overall pick was part of the trade package sent by the Los Angeles Lakers to the New Orleans Pelicans this summer in exchange for All-NBA forward Anthony Davis. Ingram is coming off a career-threatening injury last season as he was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A blood clot was found in his shooting arm and he needed surgery to remove it. The procedure was a success and now, BI is back on the playing court.
In five games this season, BI has averaged 26.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 4.8 assists. He’s also shooting the ball very well with a 51 percent clip from the field, including 50 percent from beyond the arc.
Given these numbers, why didn’t the Pelicans re-sign Ingram? There are several possible reasons. But the 22-year-old forward doesn’t seem too focused on thinking about his future.
“I grew up playing basketball. I never thought about how much money I was going to get in the league. “I always just said, ‘I just want to play basketball.’ I think everything is going to handle itself out. Me and Griff [David Griffin, Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations] have had conversations and I just came off a major injury that could have taken me out for the rest of my life, which was a blood clot.”
Pelicans General Manager David Griffin knows that Ingram is a special player, but he probably needed to know how well BI will play after the injury. If he can sustain these numbers for the rest of the season, he’ll definitely get a massive pay raise next summer, when he will become a restricted free agent.
The Pelicans are playing without their prized rookie Zion Williamson, who’s expected to be out for six to eight weeks with a knee injury. As unfortunate as this is, it’s also a great opportunity for Ingram to show what he can do. A lot of people believe he’s been held back during his time with the Lakers and that he’s bound for a breakout season in New Orleans.
And now is his time to shine.
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